Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Fabric Dolls Of Bing Brothers Art Doll Company

The Bing Brothers (Gebruder Bing) Art Doll Company was founded by the brothers Ignaz and Adolf Bing in 1866 and it initially manufactured kitchenware and then subsequently moved to toy manufacturing.   In 1882, the company participated in the Bavarian State Commercial and Industrial Exposition and had the largest selection of toys and other goods in their catalogue.  The German doll company in Nuremberg was also known as the Bing Werke and the Bing Wolfe Corporation which was the only doll manufacturing company that continued its operations even during the World War I.  The dolls produced by the company had the markings Bing Beauty Baby or Bing Beauty Art dolls.  

The dolls created by the Bing Brothers competed with the fabric art dolls manufactured by fabric doll makers Lenci and Kathe Kruse doll companies.  In 1928, the doll company grew and was already a huge corporation made up of 4,000 employees in its 31 subsidiaries.  One of its subsidiaries produced bisque head porcelain character dolls and this was the Louis Wolf and Company which manufactured dolls from 1870 to 1928.  The company used the trademark Excelsior and the dolls’ marking was  L.W. & Co. which was made by Hertel, Schwab & Co.

From 1910 to 1925, the American and Canadian rights for the Bing Art dolls was already held by the John Bing Company, which also happens to be the agent of the Heinrich Handwerck and Kammer& Reinhardt doll companies.  Subsequently, Max Bing took over the management of the company and the art doll section was then known as a division of the huge conglomerate Bing Wolf Corporation.  Most of the Bing Art dolls were made of fabric which the company had perfected using the Nuremberg style of producing toys on steel sheets for lithography . Some of the trademarks or trade names that were recognized under the Bing company were the Sunshine Girl and Sunshine Kid(1912), Baby Irene (1913 to 1914), Baby Darling (1915), Pitti-Bum (1922), Baby Sister (1925), Baby Sunshine (1925), Happiness Doll line, G.B.N. (stands for Gebruder Bing, Nuremberg), B.W., and BIN.

In the late 1920’s, several German industries were affected by the declined of the German Mark’s value.  Thus, several companies had been forced to sell its products cheaply overseas including the doll manufacturing industry.  The Bing Brothers Art Doll Company suffered from several setbacks caused by the war including the 1929 stock market catastrophe which significantly reduced the demand for its toys.   In 1932, the company filed for bankruptcy thereby ceasing its doll manufacturing operations.  

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